Genre Guesstimation – Personal Best (1982)


The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Getter of Mettel Ray and we will be reviewing our favorite LGBTQ+ Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Mar by sending them to LGBTQ@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Getter!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of LGBTQ+ Movies..

“The high jump is a masochists event-it always ends on failure. ” – Terry Tingloff

Number of Times Seen – 1 (17 Mar 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young track star vying for a spot on the US Olympic team must deal with her love for a teammate and the confidence of her strict coach.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of before trying to find more films in this genre to add to my movie knowledge.

They do a nice job keeping things enjoyable but the story feels like a constant tug-of-war between the two main plot threads that never seem to click well enough together and that doesn’t allow for things to feel even more powerful.

The story is about how a young aspiring athlete who wants to compete in the Olympics does all she can physically in order to make the team while also juggling having a lesbian relationship with a teammate.

The story allows us to see the emotional toll on these characters but something doesn’t feel deep enough with both aspects that would help make things feel even more powerful and that is where this film falters.

Muriel Hemingway does a wonderful job in the lead and she is helped by Patrice Donnelly and Scott Glenn in order make things feel even more believable with everything that she does.

The movie at certain junctures tries to be a bit more controversial than necessary but they mange to still let things flow smoothly along.

They do a great job adding a bit of tension to the story by planting a slight amount of doubt in the viewer’s mind as to whether certain events are accidentally or on purpose and that works really well.

The relationship between Hemingway and Donnelly is done well and in a plausible and believable manner but certain scenes feel more forced than pothers and that hurts things a bit.

Bottom Line – Enjoyable film that unfortunately tries too hard to bind together two strong plot threads and in the end doesn’t make either powerful enough. This is a film about a young aspiring Olympic athlete who while trying to train to make the team is also involved in a lesbian relationship with a team mate. Both aspects are done well but neither feels deep enough and that is where this film falls short. Hemingway is great in the lead role and she is believable in all that she does here both in the relationship and athletic parts of the story. The film in certain scenes tries to be a bit too controversial but things still flow well. Liked the way that they add tension between the characters that makes us wonder about certain events as to whether they are accidental or on purpose because they are able to leave a slight amount of doubt in our minds throughout. Glenn and Donnelly are both quite good in supporting roles. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – While in post-production, the sound engineers could not quite capture the sound they needed to simulate when a runner’s foot hit the track during a race. They finally created the right sound by taking pieces of bundled audio tape and hitting the floor of the sound booth with the tape bundles. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Not quite. The story is quite good and they do a nice job balancing the relationship and athletics aspects, but something feels missing that would bind the two together even more.

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – Personal Best (1982)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur March – April Finale – God’s Own Country (2017) – Mettel Ray | MovieRob

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